So much good stuff on the interwebs this week. Put a show on for the kids and pretend that laundry isn’t there – I’ve got links.thats what she said2

The Strive | O My Family

I don’t have an office. I don’t have a team of project managers reporting to me. I don’t ‘take lunch’. Heck, I don’t even pee with the door closed. One out of two days of mine is spent entirely within a 1800 square foot house (well, that’s including the basement/laundry room where, let’s be honest, I don’t spend much time). And most of the day I am left with the sinking feeling that I am not ultimately in control of my own life. I am needed desperately by both of my boys, one of whom I literally sustain nutritionally (how’s that for project management?) and it’s often hard to tell where I end and my family begins.  

Does the Content on Your Mom Blog Alienate Sponsors? | MomCrunch

Many of my bloggers happen to be religious, and a lot of them share this on their sites. Sometimes this is done very subtly (with just a little graphic in the sidebar). Sometimes religion is part of the content itself. I have to wonder if this is going to affect their ability to monetize moving forward. And if so, should they stop mentioning it? I have had no problem suggesting to bloggers that they tone down their language if sponsorship is super important (even though that bugs me). But… somehow asking someone to stop talking about their religion feels inappropriate to me. I also have to wonder where these clients are drawing the line. Would I be out of consideration because I share my family’s Passover recipes?  

A Mind Stretched | Haiti is Such a Strong Word

My thoughts are interrupted by a sharp sudden "BOOOOM" to the wall to my left. The plywood rattles and releases a cloud of fine dust. Like startled deer in a field, all heads turn suddenly and stare at the wall, breaths halted. Frozen. Three solders are on their feet in an instant. Two have hit the ground on their hands and knees in a blink of an eye.


Pardon me, Rev. Sharpton, but there’s no one way to be black | What Tami Said

The volley of "not black enough" is cheap, silly and contrary to everything most people who care about racial equality want the mainstream to understand. A white person lumping all black folks into one experience would surely gain my side-eye. So, I’m sure you like rap music, right? Right? A middle-aged, African American civil rights activist using similar logic, when he sure as hell should know better, is damned offensive. Sharpton and his organization can honor whomever they want. (I won’t even discuss the rest of the awardees, which included Judge Greg Mathis and Chris Rock…Mmmm hmmmm. I heard L. Joy Williams on Blacking It Up say Rock served up some witty commentary on how black women need to quit saying they don’t need a man. So…yeah…) But have enough respect to not respond to legitimate and serious criticism with veiled inferences that detractors are failing at blackness.


Trick-or-treating teens: what’s the big deal? | The Happiest Mom

I don’t really get the outright hostility that some adults have toward older kids who just want to dress up and have some fun. “They’re too old for that!” cry the naysayers. Too old for what? Dressing outrageously, wandering around town at night, and eating junk food? Isn’t that what being a teenager is all about? My 12- and 14-year-old sons still trick-or-treat. Their costumes are well-thought-out, and their gratitude for your hard-earned candy is far more heartfelt than my two-year-old’s. But at their ages, many parents start putting the nix on the treats and the tricks. If my son still wants to trick-or-treat at the age of 16, will his friends be allowed to go with him…or will he have to hit the sidewalks alone, in a world where many keepers of the candy will judge him not on the volume of his Halloween spirit, but the size of his shoes? I feel for the teenaged would-be trick-or-treaters. By this point, most of them have given up on the Easter Bunny, Santa Claus and the Tooth Fairy, and Halloween is one of the last vestiges of childhood magic they’ve got left.  

Making Hollywood Less Beautiful | Mamapop

But this happens all the time. And nearly every time, the actor is applauded for their efforts. ”Can you BELIEVE how well they played ‘ugly’? It must have been SO. HARD. pretending to be *gag* average. GIVE HER ALL OF THE AWARDS. ALL OF THE AWARDS FOR ENDURING ‘AVERAGE’.” Sure, sometimes, often times, it’s deserved. But others, it’s just insulting to those of us…regular folks. Let’s take a look at beautiful people slumming it. Good, bad, and average performances, I leave all judgment aside and say simply that I’m just curious as to why these people were cast in these roles and not someone who would have required much less work.  

A radical approach to the annual problem of kids and the Halloween candy haul: let them eat it. |

But it’s Halloween. And Halloween is about dressing up in spooky costumes and being given candy. There is no tradition that’s been set aside in favor of the emphasis on candy, no requirement that we "remember the reason for the season," no need for bemoaning the horrible commercialization of the whole thing. That’s it. That’s all there’s ever been to it, from the days of old when you carried a turnip lamp over to the neighbors, uphill, both ways, in order to beg for cakes.


Adventures in Depression | Hyperbole and a Half

The self-loathing and shame had ceased to be even slightly productive, but it was too late to go back at that point, so I just kept going. I followed myself around like a bully, narrating my thoughts and actions with a constant stream of abuse.  

The Periscope and The Dam: A Map Of Adoption Ethics According to Me (Part Two) | My Fascinating Life

Sometimes people say adoption is not ethical because what we should really be doing is preventing the problems that lead to adoption. They think that adoption is not ethical because it’s not dambuilding. I disagree with this second one because I think it misses the whole point of what an ethical adoption should be. An ethical adoption should pick up the pieces of a tragedy that has already happened, when the rivers were too fast, when the dam wasn’t there, when it’s too late to prevent the problem because it has already occurred. Building a dam is too late for those kids. Adopting a child who has already lost his or her family does not mean that we don’t think the dam is important (although we should be honest enough with ourselves to examine whether we really want the dam built now, or whether ‘after my referral’ would suit us better. I say that from painful experience).
Dam-building should be something that we do because we are human, and we care about other humans. We should be doing all we can, where we can, whenever we can, to share what we’ve got, to make the world better, doing for others what we would want them to do if they were the half of the world who had nearly all of its riches. Dambuilding should not be seen as something that only adoptive parents should be invested in, or only the infertile, because honestly? The dam has not nothing to do with adoption. The reason I’ve drawn the dam on this map is not because the dam is part of adoption. I’ve drawn it to illustrate that it is emphatically not part of adoption. It should be separate. Living with one may well lead to an interest in the other, but they are not the same thing. They are not interchangeable. People who have a go at adoptive parents for not sponsoring children instead? Yes, we should all be helping where we can. But that includes YOU. And me. And it should have nothing to do with whether or not either of us ever plans to adopt.  

Low point | Brazenlilly

This summer after our referral, I think I was at the apex of my adoption high. "We have a baby! He’s gorgeous and he’s mine! Everything is going according to plan. We’ve almost fully funded! Yes, it takes a long time, but the process is following the precise timeline laid out for us."   Well, that timeline has disolved and with it my cheery adoption outlook. This is not fun. This is hard. Someone watching our process might see how hard it is and decide not to adopt, which depresses me even more. I’m trying to keep my focus on the situation in Thailand and not let myself wallow too much in self-pity, since I’m sitting here in my secure, dry home. This is just another layer in the DEEP ways that the Lord is teaching me through this process. Surrendering control time and time again, and choosing to trust. Hoping that some good news is just around the corner…for the people of Thailand and for those of us on the other side of the world whose hearts are in the flood.